The team put on an energetic showing that startled the visiting fans and offered that glimmer of hope that was ultimately snatched away in a match that few predicted Everton to win.

At the Etihad Stadium, Erling Haaland’s two late goals proved to be the difference as the Toffees lost 2-0.

Sean Dyche’s team had to press forward after his first goal, a thundering finish following a scramble in the penalty area. Then, he would take advantage of the space created, walk through on goal, intimidate Jarrad Branthwaite, and secure all three points.

I saw £100k-a-week Everton star prove why he is by far Sean Dyche's most  important player
Not exactly an unexpected end to the game.

There were still a lot of good things to take away, though, as the 52-year-old manager started with the same lineup as the draw with Tottenham Hotspur the previous Saturday, boasting about his lack of options and lack of trust.

Though Dwight McNeil was as relentless as ever down the flank and Ben Godfrey once again showed his mettle as a makeshift full-back, James Tarkowski still commands attention above all others.

I saw £100k-a-week Everton star prove why he is by far Sean Dyche's most  important player

James Tarkowski was Everton’s outstanding player.
The second goal shamefully exposed Branthwaite’s adolescent ignorance, while the actual nature of his veteran partner was only highlighted.

Ultimately, despite all the praise the 21-year-old has gotten, it is important to remember that this is still his first full season of Premier League football.

Tarkowski is making his seventh appearance.

And he makes a strong impression as an accomplished leader in his play, displaying an abundance of awareness, aggressiveness, and intelligence.

According to Sofascore, he made an incredible eight clearances, two blocks, one interception, and one tackle. His stability was crucial in keeping the hosts quiet for an extended period of time.

I saw £100k-a-week Everton star prove why he is by far Sean Dyche's

Furthermore, by the £100k-per-week star’s standards, this was merely another solid performance that highlighted his significance to the team.

Given that he continues to have their highest league season average rating (7.31), it is clear that his consistency has been crucial to keeping faith during this difficult campaign.

He joined on a free transfer, and he is still one of Everton’s best recent additions since without him, this team would probably be in serious trouble right now.

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